Golf Coaches

Adam Anderson

Adam Anderson

Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
University of Notre Dame ’01 – B.A.
University of Notre Dame ’03 – M.Ed.

Over the years, the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s and women’s golf programs have evolved into some of the top collegiate golf programs in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, and have earned the respect of coaches and teams around the region.

Leading the way for the Tigers for the past nine years has been Adam Anderson, and, heading into his 10th season as the Tiger men’s and women’s head coach, he looks to ensure that DWU stays on the top of its golf game through consistent leadership and solid recruiting.

The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s and women’s golf teams combined for 12 top-five team finishes in 2013-14, and both experienced plenty of individual success as well.

The Tiger women continued to dominate the GPAC race, winning their sixth straight conference title and 11th in the past 12 seasons. Dakota Wesleyan beat out second-place Northwestern College by 59 strokes to earn its 11th consecutive trip to the NAIA National Championships. DWU won all four conference qualifiers and had four individuals finish in the top 10 in the conference standings.

Sophomore Lauren Fitts beat out teammate Chelsea Burback by six strokes to ensure the Tigers boasted the GPAC Women’s Golfer-of-the-Year for the sixth straight season. This marks Fitts’ second straight individual honor. She, along with Burback, Jenna Winckler and April Barnett, all finished in the top 10 in the conference and earned All-GPAC First Team accolades. Fitts was named the conference golfer-of-the-week twice, and finished in the top 25 in each of the 12 tournaments the Tigers played in in 2013-14. Fitts finished first or tied for first four times and recorded seven top-four finishes.

Burback and Talia Peters each earned GPAC Golfer-of-the-Week honors once in 2013-14. Anderson was also honored by the league as he earned the GPAC Women’s Golf Coach-of-the-Year honor for the sixth straight season. The award marked his seventh total women’s coach-of-the-year award and eighth overall. Anderson has guided the Tigers to the national tournament in each of his nine years as head coach. This season, DWU finished 19th with a 993 and failed to make the 17-team cut after three days of play at Wilderness Ridge in Lincoln, Neb.

The Dakota Wesleyan men recorded three top-five finishes in 2013-14, with their best finish coming at the DWU Palace City Classic in September. The Tigers finished seventh in the GPAC with a four-round total of 1,288. Sophomore Tyler Burr and freshman Thomas Hogg each earned All-GPAC Honorable Mention honors for DWU in 2013-14. Burr was the only Tiger to compete in all four conference qualifiers, and he tied for 19th. Hogg competed in two qualifiers, but finished in the top 16 in both.

In his nine seasons at DWU, Anderson has won a total of nine GPAC titles, three Region III titles and has made 11 trips to the NAIA National Championships. Additionally, he has been honored with eight GPAC Coach-of-the-Year awards along with three NAIA Region III Coach-of-the-Year honors.

On the women’s side, Anderson has coached two NAIA All-American Honorable Mention golfers and two First Team All-American golfers, eight GPAC Players-of-the-Year and three NAIA Region III Golfers-of-the-Year. On the men’s side, Anderson has coached two PING/NAIA All-North Region golfers. Overall, Anderson has had 56 All-Conference performers, 58 GPAC Players-of-the-Week and has had 16 NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Coach Anderson believes Dakota Wesleyan offers a great opportunity for competitive high school golfers who wish to take their game to the next level. Besides having access to their beautiful home course, Wild Oak, the Tigers also occasionally play at Lakeview. The Tigers’ challenging schedule allows the men’s and women’s teams to compete in both fall and spring golf seasons with some of the top teams in the Midwest and beyond. Anderson uses a video camera and modern swing analysis software to help aid golfers with any necessary swing changes between seasons. Each team routinely plays six or seven events each season or up to 14 per year. Furthermore, to fine-tune their skills before the spring tournaments begin, Anderson offers any member of his team an opportunity to attend a spring break golf trip to a southern location in the United States.

A four-year member of the Fighting Irish golf team at Notre Dame, Anderson made the traveling team his final two years. His best season came during his junior year when he was named to the NCAA Academic All-America Team and the Big East All-Conference Team in 1999-2000.

In the summers following his junior and senior years, Anderson stayed on campus to help run the Nike Junior Golf Programs, working as a camp counselor and an on-course instructor.

Anderson arrived at DWU after spending three years teaching math and science while coaching various sports teams in Oklahoma City and Kansas City. During his time in Kansas City, he worked as an assistant golf professional at Staley Farms Golf Club.

Originally from Plankinton, S.D., Anderson won the Mitchell City Golf Tournament in 1999 and 2006. He is married and lives in Mitchell with his wife, Heather. The couple has twins, Jack and Ava.

For more information on becoming a Tiger golfer, fill out an online golf questionnaire and Coach Anderson will contact you.

Emilie Palo

Emilie Palo

Graduate Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’13

Emilie Palo returns for her second season as a graduate assistant coach for the Dakota Wesleyan University men’s and women’s golf teams.

Palo made her coaching debut in 2013-14 after competing for four seasons with the Tiger women’s golf program. This marks her sixth season overall with the DWU golf programs.

Palo played in a handful of varsity tournaments in each of her four seasons with the Tigers and recorded one top-10 finish and two top-20 finishes in her career. She also attended the 2010 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships as part of the starting varsity team. The Hot Springs, S.D., native, was a six-time letter winner at Hot Springs High School and qualified for the Class A state tournament five years.

Palo graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in May 2013 with a degree in history education and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in educational policy and administration.

Heather Anderson

Heather Anderson

Volunteer Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’07

Heather Anderson was a part of the Dakota Wesleyan University women’s golf program during the start of its era of dominance, and she returned to the program last season to ensure that dominance continues.

Anderson joins husband and head coach Adam Anderson on the Tigers’ coaching staff for her second season as a volunteer assistant in 2014-15. Heather Anderson graduated from DWU in 2007 after a four-year career that included four straight GPAC and NAIA Region III titles for the Tigers.

With her help, the Tigers won 31 tournaments in her four-year career. She finished sixth or better in the GPAC conference tournament all four seasons and was named GPAC Golfer-of-the-Week nine times. Anderson was named region golfer-of-the-year in 2006 and was the first DWU golfer – male or female – to earn All-American honors that same year when she earned All-American Honorable Mention accolades.

Anderson is married and lives in Mitchell with Adam Anderson. The couple has twins, Jack and Ava.

Chas Hurd

Chas Hurd

Volunteer Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University

Chas Hurd begins his second season as an assistant golf coach for the Tiger golf programs in 2014-15, and he continues to bring a plethora of golf experience to the Dakota Wesleyan golf program.

Hurd was the golf professional at Mitchell’s Lakeview Golf Course for five years and the director of golf at Wild Oak Golf Course for five years. He is currently a golf rep for Sun Mountain and Winn Grips, and has been for the past 25 years.

Hurd, a Chappaqua, N.Y., native, attended college at Dakota Wesleyan and has lived in Mitchell for more than 30 years.

Josh Hartman

Josh Hartman

Josh Hartman

Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach
Dakota Wesleyan University ’04

Josh Hartman returns as assistant coach for the DWU golf program as an in 2014-15. This is his second season as a coach at Dakota Wesleyan, but he is not new to the school.

Hartman, who most recently was the head women’s golf coach at Colorado State University-Pueblo for four seasons, graduated from DWU in 2004 after playing for two seasons with the men’s golf team. He was the first-ever women’s golf coach at Pueblo, as the ThunderWolves started competing as a varsity sport in 2005. CSU-Pueblo finished third in the RMAC in its second season as a varsity program in 2006-07 under Hartman’s guidance.

Hartman was a two-time All-GPAC Honorable Mention selection in 2002 and 2003 and was the team’s player-of-the-year in 2003. The Trinidad, Colo., native played both basketball and baseball as a freshman and sophomore, but he quit basketball after his sophomore season to join the golf team.

Hartman was a two-time All-GPAC Honorable Mention selection for the baseball team. He was a member of the Dean’s List and was listed in the Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges.

He graduated in 2004 with a degree in physical education and K-12 education.

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